Azerbaijan Agrees to Hold Conference Attended by Armenian MPs: Vice Speaker
Azerbaijan, Baku, 11 February /corr. Trend I.Alizade / Azerbaijan has agreed to hold a conference on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with the participation of the Armenian MPs. "Azerbaijan highlighted its principal consent to attend the conference organized through the mediation of the international organization for the Azerbaijani and Armenian MPs," the First Deputy Chairman of Azerbaijan Parliament, Chairman of Azerbaijan Parliament's Permanent Commission for Security and Defence, Ziyafet Askerov, briefed the media on 11 February.
Lord Russell Johnston, the Head of the Sub-committee on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), visited Azerbaijan and Armenia. He discussed the possibility of holding a conference in April 2008 in Strasburg with the participation of the Azerbaijani and Armenian MPs.
"However, we oppose bilateral co-operation with Armenia until the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Askerov added.
According to the First Deputy Chairman, the Azerbaijani side hopes that the events being held through mediation of the international organizations will bring positive results. "We have attended many such events, but always they have not had any results. In addition, we want the international organizations to approach the implementation of the PACE Resolution 1416 on Nagorno-Karabakh seriously and put pressure on Armenia in this regard," Askerov said.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to the Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, the Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven neighbouring districts. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement which ended the active hostilities. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding the peaceful negotiations.
In January 2005, PACE passed Resolution 1416 in connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. The Resolution says that Armenia occupies Azerbaijani territories. It also contains various suggestions to settle the conflict. The PACE established a subcommittee to control the realization of the document.
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